In a shot-in-the-dark surprise, the Steve Martin version of The Pink Panther opened with $21.7 million over the weekend, well above estimates. It even beat Final Destination 3, a poorly reviewed horror film but one which -- given the strong recent performances of the genre -- was nevertheless expected to eviscerate its rivals. As it was, Final Destination 3 took in about $20.1 million, well above its two predecessors. (The original Final Destination opened with $20 million, while Final Destination 2 took in $16 million.) Another film debuting well above expectations was the hand-drawn animated feature Curious George, which earned $15.3 million, nearly all of it from families with small children. On the other hand, the Harrison Ford starrer Firewall grossed a lackluster $13.8 million, about what analysts had predicted. In the second weekend following their best-film Oscar nominations, Capote, Munich, and Good Night, and Good Luck saw ticket sales halved from the previous week. Brokeback Mountain, however, endured the smallest fall, 30 percent, as it landed in eighth place in its tenth weekend, with $4.2 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. The Pink Panther, $21.7 million: 2. Final Destination 3, $20.1 million: 3. Curious George, $15.3 million: 4. Firewall, $13.8 million: 5. When a Stranger Calls, $10 million: 6. Big Momma's House 2, $6.8 million: 7. Nanny McPhee, $5.2 million: 8. Brokeback Mountain, $4.2 million: 9. Hoodwinked, $2.502 million: 10. Underworld: Evolution, $2.5 million.




13/02/2006